Friday, July 15, 2016

Supreme Court Asked for Quick Ruling on Bathroom Rights

In one of the more closely watched transgender rights cases in the nation, the Virginia School District that prohibited an assigned female student who lives as male from using the men’s bathroom at school, is asking the Supreme Court to overturn an injunction against their rule.

As readers may recall, the Gloucester County School District adopted a rule that students must use the restroom that aligns with their assigned gender at birth. This rule issued after Gavin Grimm, who was assigned female at birth but lives as a male, demanded that he be allowed to use the boys’ restroom at school. As a result of a lawsuit filed on Gavin’s behalf, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Grimm and enjoined the School District from enforcing the rule, thereby allowing Gavin and others the ability to use the restroom that aligns with their affirmed or identified gender.

The School District has appealed the case to the U.S. Supreme Court but this week asked Chief Justice John Roberts to lift the injunction which prohibits the School District from enforcing its bathroom rule until the Court has a chance to hear and rule on the entire case. Of course, a ruling on the underlying issues could take more than a year.

In support of the School District’s request to the Court, it argued that "[D]epriving parents of any say over whether their children should be exposed to members of the opposite biological sex, possibly in a state of full or complete undress, in intimate settings deprives parents of their right to direct the education and upbringing of their children." 

The School District’s plea will certainly provide a possible glimpse into the minds of the justices on transgender rights. Even with a ruling on whether the School District’s rule should stay in place during the pendency of the case, the issues surrounding transgender rights remains largely untested and still one of the hottest topics in workplaces.

Ancel Glink attorneys can train you and your staff on these cutting edge issues so that your entity avoids gender identity discrimination. Just as importantly, we will answer your questions about how to apply the law, even in the most sensitive or complicated situations, so that the rights of all individuals are respected.  We can answer questions such as who has superior rights and what to do if a patron is uncomfortable in the restroom or changing area, to how to accommodate the rights of a transgender employee, and many more.

In 75 minutes, the labor and employment attorneys of Ancel Glink can train your staff at your work site to adhere to and enforce gender identity laws in a compliant and sensitive fashion.  Contact your Ancel Glink attorney or Rob Bush at 312-604-9105 or; Margaret Kostopulos at 312-604-9106 or; or Bob McCabe at 847-856-5432 or